Benefits of Membership
Subtitle: "You had me at 'Training…'"
There are many reasons to support club activities by becoming a member. We do not limit attendance at club meetings only to members, so you can come to all the meetings and participate without joining the club, but keep in mind that someone is paying for the room and for any materials used or handed out, and that "someone" is all the people sitting around you that find the club rewarding enough to become members. Becoming a member doesn't mean you'll get spam emails or get phone calls from assignors you don't like (well, not any more than already happens anyway), but it does mean that you help us continue to offer great services to our referee community.
But some things, due to the cost, are reserved for members only. So if the slogan "Training, Support, Advice, Friends and Fun" didn't already convince you, here are some tangible benefits that only members get in exchange for the $30 membership fee per year.
Did you know that USSF gives you less than 40% of the Law Book? The FIFA Law Book has 138 pages (2011/2012 Edition). The version you get with your USSF Referee Badge has only the first section of the FIFA Law Book, and leaves out the FIFA "Interpretations of the Laws of the Games and Guidelines for Referees". This section IS PART OF FIFA LAW, and you need to know it if you want to referee soccer games. Do you know when a whistle is REQUIRED for a restart to occur (see page 78)? Each year when there are substantial changes to the FIFA Law Book, we buy FIFA Law Books for all our members. Don't referee with 40% of your brain. Get 100% involved.
We use our gold referee pens to promote the club and help attract new referees, but (new for 2012) only members get the complete set of 5 separate pens, one for each uniform color. Red, Gold, Green, Blue and Black. Did you notice the stripes on the pens match the stripes on the uniform? Get the full set, match the color to your uniform, and look totally cool on the field. Really, you will look like you know what you are doing and your games will all go so much easier.
Every couple of years we produce a new set of flipping coins, designed to help you start the match in style. Every new member gets a coin, and every time we create a new color then every member gets the new coin. The coins are designed to be professional in appearance, clearly indicate heads (all color) from tails (no color), and give you a great way to start the match. Only available to members, and if you want additional coins you can get them at our cost.
Every new member gets an official "San Jose Soccer Referee Association" referee badge. Why? Because sometimes we do games that are not USSF-affiliated and we have the choice of wearing no badge at all (since you cannot wear the USSF badge in games not sanctioned by USSF, and the same for AYSO, NISOA, etc.) or else having an all-purpose badge to allow us to look professional even in a middle-school competition. See, it's stuff like this that we learn about, know about, think about, and come up with a solution that works for all our members. But members only, please.